The Earl of Hexham Rides Again!
"When we weren't flying, camp life consisted of hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer madness. One monumental event involved the controversial W.D. "Dave" Fenwick, also known as the 9th Earl of Hexham, at Dunphy Airstrip in 1981. Water pistols were considered to be de rigeur as instruments of distraction and the resulting confrontations would frequently escalate into conflicts which would involve some of the more truculent TBM pilots on the one side and the more youthful and team oriented Cessna navigation people on the other. The TBM pilots functioned utterly without regard to any kind of tactics or strategy, preferring, to operate as a loose group of independent raiders. So, it was relatively easy for the better organised "pointers" to corner a TBM pilot. Fenwick, one hot afternoon, after stirring up a real hornet's nest of opposition found himself trapped inside a sleeping trailer room surrounded by superior numbers of hostiles outside. Some even carried buckets of water as they lingered like a pride of hungry lions which had cornered a warthog in a burrow. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that Fenwick was also out of water and the trailers had no plumbing. Being a resourceful fellow, however, Fenwick, in a calculated act of desperation, reloaded with the only readily available liquid. I was with a small group watching this spectacle unfold from a safe distance when suddenly the door burst open and Fenwick leapt out firing wildly. Like some swashbuckling hero in an old adventure movie he fired to the left and to the right and the pointers droppd their weapons to clutch their eyes. In the confusion, Fenwick got through the enemy lines without receiving so much as a single drop of water upon him. He was magnificent. Amazed at how he had managed to escape from what seemed to be such a dreadful situation we enquired as what he had used to reload his pistol. He said that as he looked around the room he spotted a bottle of twelve year old scotch whisky and that was why the enemy were grabbing for their eyes as he fired. We all had a laugh then Fenwick asked me why I was laughing as it was my scotch that he'd used. (I suppose that there was one other substance that he could have used to refill his water pistol...Those pointers were lucky that he'd found the whisky!)"
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.....A TBM Pilot